Trying out the World’s 50 Best: A day at Osteria Francescana

Our trip to Osteria Francescana was a whole day. Because we went crazy and because we got two reservations in the crazy lottery that is getting a table at this place, we decided we should take advantage and have lunch and dinner here. The dining room is sleek, simple yet inviting. I particularly liked the artwork they had. And it really is just 12 tables, so no wonder getting a table is impossible. The best part, during dinner Massimo came out to hang!Not only did we get a picture, and a number of signed books, he told us all about his soup kitchens which is just a wonderful program.  We started with an a la carte lunch and finished the day off with the Tasting menu.

A la carte Lunch

Our amuse bouche: An almond milk and caper cappuccino (sounds weird but tastes amazing)  and a wonderful savory macaroon with a parmesan twill

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Starters:

Cod Mare Nostrum: The broth was amazing, so many herbs and green and  perfectly cooked fish

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An eel swimming up the Po River: A classic from Chefs Table

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Croccantino of foie gras covered with Noto almonds and Piedmont hazelnuts with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena: this was ridiculously good. Foie gras covered with almonds and filled with modena balsamic when you bit in. craziness!!

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Firsts:

Traditional Modenese miniature tortellini in capon broth

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Grey and black rice with Oscietra Royal caviar: decadent, perfectly balanced and al dente.

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Tagliatelle with hand cut meat ragù: Another from Chef’s Table that my sister had to have. She said it was pasta deliciousness.

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Mains:

Suckling pig tender and crunchy with Villa Manodori Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena: Crispy and beautiful with wonderful local Vinegar

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Lobster with double sauces, both acidic and sweet: Beautiful and sweet

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Then for dinner we were off for the Everything tasting menu. Here is what it was:

The Amuse (which points to them was different from th amuse bouche of the afternoon) was mortadela foam, I was very impressed that they made them different from what we had at lunch. 

Insalata diMare: Amazing blend of flavours and textures. Each layer had a new little surprise. first eggs, then octopus, some shrimp to finish off. A total delight. 

Mediterranean Sole: Beautiful and delicious, the perfect combination. It is based on different techniques of how Sole can be cooked.

Rice: green over brown over black: Three types of risotto and all of them ridiculously good. However if I was going to rank, the black rice was number one (Same one I had for lunch), the brown mushroom risotto number two and the green veggie one as Number 3. 

Autumn in New York: an ode to the city of NY and to the apples that represent it. Delicious and the bonus points is that even if it had beetroot which I hate, they were so well cooked that I didn’t even realize it. 

My fellow dinners got the Civet, game, snails, herbs and Rabvioli. Since I couldn’t have that I got this ridiculously amazing mushroom broth with truffles. I was

Five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in different textures and temperatures: One of the ones I had looked forward to the most given my  Chef’s Table viewing and it did not disappoint. Surprisingly it exceeded expectations. It is a mouse, a foam, a whipped foam, a sauce and a twill. So wonderful!!!!! 

The crunchy part of the Lasagna: Another staple and another delight. My version was a bit different as it was gluten-free. Instead of Bolognese style I had a vegetable sauce, that was still absolutely delicious. And it does taste like the crunchy part of the lasagna. Food innovation at its best. 

Camouflage Pigeon: A delicious course, but probably my least favorite of them all. The sauces are delicious, and the best part the little meatball of the side. 

ciliege, amarene, duroni, marasche e pane secco: A beautifully light cherry based palate cleanser

Millefoglie di millefoglie: a beautiful play on words and play of food. When i say it on the menu, I said: no way are they going to give me a millefoglie. But then this came up and i totally understood it. The only part of this that was replaced is a layer of millefeuille on the bottom – oi got a layer of ganache. everything else was a play on the “foglie” of the millefoglie, made of chocolate and truffle and it was amazing.

Oops I dropped the lemon tart: The classic! even better than expected, even more beautiful and best of it all I could eat it because they made it Gluten Free!!! 

Crocantino of foie Gras:  we got a tiny version of the crocantino as an end of meal. I totally approve of salty meal finishes instead of sweet, how can you not prefer a foie crocantino from a non-descript bombom.

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All in all, probably one of the best eaten days of my life. And Osteria just catapulted to the Top 3 of my favorite restaurants alongside Alinea and Chef’s Table. A marvelous restaurant and a must visit.

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